Published on :
Due to the Covid-19 contamination of Salah Abdeslam, the main accused, the trial of the November 13 attacks will resume on January 4 to be immediately suspended until January 13, according to the president of the court.
The trial of the November 13 attacks will resume, as scheduled, on January 4 but should be immediately suspended until January 13 due to the Covid-19 contamination of the main accused, Salah Abdeslam, the president of the court said in a statement. email to the parties and consulted by AFP.
The president justifies this suspension by the duration of the medical isolation of Abdeslam (17 days): “In the state and except for new element we could not therefore resume the debates until January 13: I will confirm this new data to you, Monday 4 at the latest “, wrote Jean-Louis Périès.
Salah Abdeslam, the only survivor of the jihadist commandos which left 130 dead and hundreds injured in Paris and Saint-Denis in November 2015, tested positive for Covid-19 on December 27.
A source close to the case told AFP on Thursday that the trial was to be suspended for 48 hours, until January 6.
“Initially, this medical isolation was for a period of 10 days and ran until January 5, 2022 inclusive, underlines Jean-Louis Périès. The medical service of building D3 (of Fleury-Merogis prison, Editor’s note) communicated to the management a new document recommending his medical isolation until January 12, 2022 inclusive, for a total duration of 17 days. It was indicated by the medical staff that the initial duration of the isolation (10 days) did not correspond to the directives concerning the Covid (17 days of isolation). “
Salah Abdeslam is being held for the duration of the hearing in Fleury-Mérogis prison, south of Paris. Several sources of contamination were detected there and a massive screening of detainees and staff is underway until Monday, according to a union source.
Clusters in several French prisons
The special assize court has been trying since September 8 and until the end of May twenty defendants, including fourteen present at the hearing, suspected of being involved to varying degrees in the preparation of the most deadly jihadist attacks ever perpetrated in France.
The defendants were to be questioned from Monday. This postponement will upset the scheduling of the trial. “I am not in a position for the moment to communicate a new schedule taking into account this information”, specifies the president to the parts.
The pandemic has already disrupted trials in France, like that of the Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher attacks in 2020.
Briefly interrupted at the end of September after a suspected case, the hearing was suspended for good on October 31, after three cases of contamination among the accused. The break, initially scheduled for two weeks, ended up lasting a month.
Currently, clusters have been identified in several French prisons. At the national level, 370 contaminations were detected among some 70,000 detainees and 448 among staff (out of around 40,000), according to a report from the ministry established on December 27.